HAZLEGROVE Prep School at Sparkford is sharing its passion for reading with the launch of its first Festival of Literature at the school from 4th to 11th March.
Many of the planned talks and events will be open to local schools and the public.
Coinciding with World Book Day on 7th March, the event will be opened by Dirk Foch, managing director of Renaissance Learning, who along with David Edwards, Hazlegrove's director of studies, will also be leading a discussion group "Raising a Reader" which is aimed at parents and teachers and will explore different approaches to instil a love of reading in children. David Edwards said: "As teachers and parents we have a responsibility to encourage children to read for both purpose and pleasure. Reading is at the core of life and we believe that a school should do everything it can to support this. This is why in the Autumn term we challenged the children to read 130 million words which they achieved and exceeded. We have created a real reading culture here at Hazlegrove."
Children's author Gill Lewis, who lives locally, will be talking about her route from vet to author, and the animal and human inspiration behind her books, especially the highly acclaimed Sky Hawk. Ingo author, Helen Dunmore will talk about her stories and read from her books, and author Angie Sage, is hoping to launch her new book, Fyre, the last book in the Septimus Heap series, during her talk on Wednesday 6th March to an audience of invited local schools.
Other events, talks and book signings include a Battle in the Air War Panel on Thursday 7th March an evening with some of the foremost experts in the field of military history and aviation. The evening will be hosted by ACM Sir Peter Squire, who will be joined on the panel by Sir Hew Strachan, Sebastian Cox, James Holland, and Commodore Neill Thomas.
Headmaster Richard Fenwick said: "There is great concern about children's literacy in this country and there is no quick fix or easy answer. However, at Hazlegrove we have put reading firmly on the map and inspire our students to develop an early life-long love of books. The Festival of Literature is a celebration of reading for our students, local schools and members of the public."
To get your school involved or for a full programme of events and for online booking, visit www.hazlegrove.co.uk.